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Boreal Community Media

2022 Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count date announced for Grand Marais - bird watchers needed!

Dec 16, 2022 08:51AM ● By Content Editor
Photo: Steve Harrris

From the Grand Marais Audubon Christmas Bird Count Compiler - November 23, 2022

Both feeder watchers and walking/driving birders needed for the 2022 Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC).  The count will be held Saturday, December 17 for the Grand Marais CBC, which is a 7.5 mile radius circle from a point 3 miles south of the middle of Devil Track Lake.  The count circle covers Hwy 61 to Lindskog Rd and north, some of Cty Rd 60, Gunflint Trail to the landfill road, Pine Mountain Rd to the backside of Elbow Lake, Devil Track Rd to Bally Creek Rd, Ball Club Rd to The Grade, Pike Lake Rd, and Hwy 61 west to the Cascade River, and all of the lakeshore between Lindskog Rd and the Cascade River.

You can cover as much or as little as you'd like.  You can be a novice to a professional, since CBC's are open to birders of all skill levels.  We can use both walkers/drivers as well as feeder watchers that can identify birds, and can count the highest number of a single species in an area as well. We'll also need any species of birds that you see in the count circle, but not on the count day.  This "count week" happens for the three days prior and three days after the count day of Saturday.

For count day, you'll need a guide book, binoculars, a scope for lake birding, warm clothes, warm boots/Yak Traks, a log book to record your observations, and a keen and quick eye to count our winter rarities!  If you are a feeder watcher, keep you feeders full up and through count day to encourage birds to be there on that day, have various foods available in feeders and on the ground to entice as many species as possible.

While Audubon's National CBC effort began Christmas Day 1900, the first known Minnesota CBCs were conducted on Christmas Day 1905 in Minneapolis, and Red Wing. During those last 100+ years, the Christmas Bird Count has been conducted uninterrupted in the state and has grown to include almost 70 census circles and involved more than 28,000 participants. Each and every year greater than 1,000 participants canvas the state to conduct the survey. These participants have logged nearly 77,000 total hours, traveling approximately 548,000 miles. The Minnesota CBC has tallied over 8.5 million birds of 201 species. Today, over 55,000 volunteers from all 50 states, every Canadian province, parts of Central and South America, Bermuda, the West Indies and Pacific islands count and record every individual bird and bird species seen in a specified area. Each count group completes a census of the birds found during one 24-hour period between December 14 and January 5 in a designated circle 15 miles in diameter, about 177 square miles.

This year, we will again not meet together in person due to Covid-19, and we'll want everyone participating to report results either over text, email, or phone after 5pm on count day.

Please contact Jeremy Ridlbauer @ [email protected] or 218-370-0733 to notify us about what area you can cover or what feeder or area you'll be watching.
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